USC WR Woods' Ankle Not Yet 100 Percent, Could Hurt 2013 NFL Draft Stock

Sigmund Bloom@SigmundBloomNFL Draft Lead WriterJuly 26, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 26:  Wide receiver Robert Woods #2 of the USC Trojans gets ready for the game with the UCLA Bruins at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 26, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Robert Woods was still able to catch 111 balls for 1,292 yards and 15 touchdowns last year despite playing through an ankle injury. That kind of production made him the top name on most lists of wide receivers eligible for the 2013 NFL draft. News out of Southern California could make the condition of his ankle more important to teams evaluating his stock than it was a few weeks ago.

Pedro Moura of ESPN Los Angeles reports that USC head coach Lane Kiffin said Woods is not yet 100 percent. Moura added that Woods has not yet been medically cleared to practice, and Kiffin also said the ankle "never recovered the way it was supposed to," and that there have been "setbacks."

The Sports Xchange reports that Kiffin said Woods was only "75 percent" last year during his standout season, which is impressive, but it also makes one wonder if he did permanent damage to the joint, especially in light of its inability to heal completely by late July after offseason surgery. 

Woods should be commended for his ability to produce through pain, but the intense once-over that teams give draft prospects in the combine could reveal that his ankle will never be truly right again if he rushes back from his slow recovery or opts to avoid additional surgery needed to correct the healing process.